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Thread: Should we limit dandelion leaves?

  1. #1
    Alpha Buck
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    Default Should we limit dandelion leaves?

    We have lots of dandelions in our garden and I have been feeding our 2 Netherland dwarf rabbits (about 5 months old) 3 or 4 leaves each a day. I have read that they are high in calcium and wondered if there was a limit to how many a day are good for them.

    The rabbits are healthy but don't seem to go for other treats like shop-bought alfafa chunks, or even carrot, but they love the dandelions.

    Presumably, in the wild they would eat as much as they wanted and self-regulate, but maybe domestic rabbits have lost that capacity - should I limit them, if so, to how many?

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper yvette's Avatar
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    They make a bunny wee alot,so I have gathered from the forum....I give dandys once or twice a week.

  3. #3
    Warren Veteran Amy104's Avatar
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    They make a bunny wee alot,so I have gathered from the forum....
    Yes, they are a diuretic.

    They do have a lot of calcium so maybe just keep an eye on your buns wee. If it looks whiteish you may need to start limiting them.
    I Suffer From Multiple Rabbit Syndrome
    (Because One Rabbit Is Never Enough!)

  4. #4
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    I have noticed that when their wee dries it leaves a white stain or residue. So I'll cut back on the dandelions then.

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    Alpha Buck jewaller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tintin View Post
    We have lots of dandelions in our garden and I have been feeding our 2 Netherland dwarf rabbits (about 5 months old) 3 or 4 leaves each a day. I have read that they are high in calcium and wondered if there was a limit to how many a day are good for them.

    The rabbits are healthy but don't seem to go for other treats like shop-bought alfafa chunks, or even carrot, but they love the dandelions.

    Presumably, in the wild they would eat as much as they wanted and self-regulate, but maybe domestic rabbits have lost that capacity - should I limit them, if so, to how many?
    i limit or restrict weeds when the poops are runny/of all my buns three are rex,s /.two get runny poops--go figure..sincerely james waller

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper prettylupin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tintin View Post
    I have noticed that when their wee dries it leaves a white stain or residue. So I'll cut back on the dandelions then.
    That could be down to the amount of commercial feed you give and not necessarily the dandelions. In my experience chalky residue (calcium carbonate) in urine is often due to too much commercial feed (a very high source of calcium) rather than just a few leaves of a calcium rich veg/plant. Do you feed just a spoonful or eggcup full of pellets once a day? If more - then I would reduce the amount of this first before assuming it is the dandelions, as although rich in calcium, I personally can't see 3 or 4 dandelion leaves being an issue - however it would depend how large your dandelions grow!

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper Maizey's Avatar
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    I pick my buns carrier bags full in the summer and they dont have any calcium problems.I think the good out weigh the bad when it comes to dandelions,they are full of vits and nutrients

  8. #8
    Mama Doe clarebear's Avatar
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    Bramble's wee seems to leave white stains everywhere anyway even if he hasn't been eating Dandelions. Should I be worried by this?
    Bramble and Bo - Miss you both so much xxx

  9. #9

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    I think the argument that dandelion leaf should be limited due to it's high calcium content is bogus. Pet Rabbit Feeding and Nutrition by Lowe recommends .6% calcium in feed (dry weight) for a non pregnant non lactating pet rabbit. Dandelion has 1.3% while timothy and Orchard grass have .25% so combining 6.6 grams fresh dandelion (1 g DM) with 2 grams hay will give a calcium content of .6%. The limit on dietary dandelion will have to be found elsewhere. I also noticed that the House Rabbit Handbook by Marinell Harrman has a sample diet for a 8 to 9 pound rabbit containing 1 oz/day fresh dandelion leaf. My 5 lb rabbit eats about that much and would like more so I wonder what the real limits are. The average weight of the leaves I collected today was 800 mg so 4 leaves would be 2.4g.

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